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The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

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An alien lands and tells the people of Earth that they must live peacefully or be destroyed as a danger to other planets.



(screen play), (based on a story by)
4,208 ( 354)
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Lock Martin ...


An alien (Klaatu) with his mighty robot (Gort) land their spacecraft on Cold War-era Earth just after the end of World War II. They bring an important message to the planet that Klaatu wishes to tell to representatives of all nations. However, communication turns out to be difficult, so, after learning something about the natives, Klaatu decides on an alternative approach. Written by Bruce Janson <bruce@cs.su.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What is this invader from another planet... Can it destroy the Earth? See more »


Drama | Sci-Fi


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

25 December 1951 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Farewell to the Master  »


Box Office


$1,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The crowds were made up of local government employees, including some from the FBI offices, who were asked to participate in the film. No releases were required of employees. See more »


During the montage shots of newspaper headlines during the hunt for Klaatu, a photograph shows him still standing on his ship holding out the viewing device which was shot out of his hand. During the earlier scene of his emergence from the saucer, he didn't produce the device until leaving the ramp and approaching the onlookers. See more »


[first lines]
American Radar Operator: Holy Mackerel! Call headquarters. Get the lieutenant.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Elmer Davis, H.V. Kaltenborn, and Drew Pearson identify themselves when they appear on screen. Radio personality Gabriel Heatter is identified by an announcer. See more »


Featured in De wereld draait door: Episode #4.69 (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Interesting In Itself & As A Reflection of Its Era
15 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

Interesting both in itself and as a reflection of its era, "The Day the Earth Stood Still" may seem unspectacular now to those who are used to the extravagant science fiction pictures of the present time, but it deserves its place as a cinema classic. The story is worthwhile in itself, and as soon as you set aside any preconceptions about what science fiction should involve, it also builds up some pretty good drama and suspense. Its perspective is also interesting to see as a reflection of the concerns of its era, which have such obvious similarities with those of the present.

The story itself sometimes moves rather slowly, and the focus is really more on the reactions to Klaatu's arrival than on the action itself. As Klaatu, Michael Rennie stays pretty low-key, as does the rest of the cast much of the time. Although there are times when the movie might lack some energy as a result, in general it probably works better that way than it would have if there were too much forced emphasis on the urgency of Klaatu's mission, which is more than able to speak for itself. The ideas behind the story are fairly simple, but they are, of course, just as significant now (or in practically any other era) as they were in the 1950's.

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